Rush Limbaugh Strikes Three-Year Deal With Cumulus

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Rush Limbaugh has struck a new deal that will keep him, for the next three years, on all the Cumulus Media stations currently carrying him except for WABC in New York, the radio star announced Friday on his show. In that market, his show will move to WOR, a station owned by Clear Channel, the parent of Premiere Networks, which syndicates Limbaugh's show.

Limbaugh took the opportunity to celebrate media speculation -- now proven wrong -- that Cumulus was dumping him and any new arrangement would result in him losing markets.

The conservative host noted that President Barack Obama on CNN Friday morning blamed Limbaugh for gridlock, and Limbaugh joked he had "whiplash" from going from irrelevant to relevant so quickly.

"You were reading that it was over for me. That I was bad news for broadcast stations," Limbaugh said Friday. "In this interview today, Obama blamed me. After a month of being irrelevant, after a month of being almost over, after a month of being a has-been … a month ago you couldn't turn on the drive-by media without reading that I was finished."

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The host thanked his audience for their loyalty to his sponsors, and reminisced about the early days of his show, saying that the media has never understood how it became popular. "Honesty and trust," is what it boils down to, Limbaugh said, while noting that his entire method of operation is saying, in unique ways, what many people are already thinking.

Limbaugh also thanked his audience for sticking with him through what he called efforts by liberals in the mainstream media to discredit him, and noted that his survival as the nation's top talk radio host is notable because "the media succeeds in destroying things they want to destroy. Ask [Mitt] Romney."

Limbaugh's previous deal with Cumulus had expired months ago. Details of his new arrangement announced Friday were not disclosed.

In making the announcement, Limbaugh said: "My broadcast partners do not know I'm gonna do this, but I'm gonna go ahead: We completed our negotiations with Cumulus Media, and there will not be any changes. I will continue to be on their radio stations for the next three years. It was really never in doubt, but I don't want to do my own version of negotiating here. The only change that's going to happen is that on Jan. 1 we are going to leave WABC and move to WOR in New York."

E-mail: Paul.Bond@THR.com

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